Corbyn rode to victory on the back of a grass-roots rebellion that shook the Labour Party from top to bottom. His anti-austerity message took the party by storm. The Corbyn movement has sweep aside the old order of things. The Pandora’s Box is open. Radical socialist policies are now back on the agenda. But the job is far from finished.
“Mr Corbyn’s revolution was not made for television, but it has been televised,” stated the Guardian newspaper.
But the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party is no soap opera. It represents an unfolding historic drama that threatens to overturn the entire British Establishment. It represents part of a growing international anti-capitalist movement opposed to austerity, greedy bankers, corrupt politicians and corporate elites.
“The early revolution has been chaotic, but not without success,” notes the same newspaper.
Well, political revolutions are never orderly. They tend to sweep aside the old order of things. But the job is far from finished.
Pandora’s Box opened
Corbyn swept to victory on the back of a grass-roots rebellion that shook the Labour Party from top to bottom. His anti-austerity message took the party by storm.
The rank and file overwhelmingly rejected the pro-business policies of New Labour, which were barely indistinguishable from the Tories. The vote for Jeremy Corbyn was a vote for fundamental change. No to austerity. No to Trident. No to privatisation. No to tuition fees. Yes to renationalisation of the railways and energy companies… and much more besides.
The Pandora’s Box is open. Radical socialist policies are now back on the agenda.
It was this fact that terrified the Establishment, which has now launched an all-out war to discredit Jeremy Corbyn and the movement behind him.
While Jeremy Corbyn has the overwhelming support of Labour members, especially the new ones, more than 90% of Labour MPs are opposed to him. From day one, they plotted to get rid of him. They even threatened to split the Labour Party. These “democrats” were determined to preserve their parliamentary careers, salaries and expenses. Above all, with the full backing of the Establishment, they were determined to keep the Labour Party safe for capitalism.
The vast majority of MPs – threatened by the Corbyn victory – do not accept the democratic will of the members, which, for them, is a take-over by “newcomers”. This is something they can never allow.
As one New Labour missionary admits:
“The Blairites have become the lost tribe. We let the discrediting of New Labour happen first under Gordon Brown and then it became Ed Miliband’s raison d’etre. Nothing constructive was put in its place, everything was hollowed out and it has caused this huge vacuum.
“As a result, the party has been taken over. It’s going to take two years of electoral defeats and a lot of hard thinking and organisation before this can start to be reversed.”
But the right wing has been quick to act. It operates as a Fifth Column within the Party, and is determined to discredit and remove Corbyn at the earliest opportunity. They stick the knife in whenever they can. Despite concessions being made to placate them, rather than pacifying them, it simply emboldened them.
Shadow cabinet attacks
These attacks are also coming from members of the so-called Labour shadow cabinet, who have publicly opposed Corbyn’s position on Trident, austerity, Europe, Nato, scrapping tuition fees, nationalizing the railways, etc.
This careerist cabal took their struggle to the Parliamentary Labour Party meeting, their power base, when John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, proposed changing the party’s position and voting against Osborne’s Charter of Permanent Austerity.
As soon as the meeting started, tensions mounted and an all-out attack was launched against Corbyn and McDonnell. “A total f***ing shambles,” raged right winger Ben Bradshaw, who emerged from the meeting fuming. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” said one shadow minister. “A huge joke”, sneered John Mann, which was then repeated in the Commons by Osborne against McDonnell.
They attacked Corbyn for trying to create “a party within a party” as a means of deselecting them. When Richard Burgon tied to reply he was just howled down. “It looked at one point like they weren’t even going to let him finish,” said one MP.
Of course, it is OK for the right to organise, but, God forbid, not the Left! The right wing have been backed and financed for years by shadowy organisations, linked to MI5 and the CIA. It is high-time the Left got organised in the Party to fight for socialism.
Right wing rampage
Backed by the Establishment, the right wing is on the rampage. Their aim is to provide ammunition for the Tories to attack Corbyn. They are attempting to disrupt and even split the Party, hoping to discredit Labour and bring about electoral defeat. This is their odious plan.
Mike Gapes, Labour MP for Ilford South, took to Twitter to condemn the leadership. “There is now no collective shadow cabinet responsibility in our Party, no clarity on economic policy and no credible leadership,” he wrote.
Challenged by another user of social media to show loyalty to Corbyn, Gapes responded: “I will show loyalty in the same way as he was loyal to Kinnock, Smith, Blair, Brown, Beckett, Miliband and Harman. OK?”
But there is a huge difference. Corbyn is trying to pursue a left agenda, while the other Labour leaders were promoting a pro-capitalist agenda.
When the vote in Parliament came to oppose the Tories’ austerity Charter, 21 “moderate” Labour MPs refused to support the Labour line and abstained, giving support to the Tories. In contrast, all the SNP MPs voted against the Tories, reinforcing their “anti-austerity” credentials in Scotland.
Before the vote those Labour MPs who said they would abstain, notably Mike Gapes and Jamie Reed, were attacked on Twitter, with accusations they were playing the Tory game and warnings they would find their local parties “pressing the deselect button”.
This provoked a hysterical reaction. Frank Field, the Labour MP for Birkenhead, responded to the threats by urging any MP who was deselected to immediately to trigger a by-election. This shows their real colours. Fine, good riddance we say.
Back to the future
These were the tactics of the right wing in the 1970s, when Labour members wanted to get rid of right winger Reg Prentice MP for Newham NE. He subsequently left the Labour Party and joined the Tories, ending up as a Tory cabinet minister! Again, many right wingers split away to form the SDP in 1982, which served to split the Labour vote and allowed Thatcher to remain in power.
Today the Parliamentary Labour Party is full of Reg Prentice clones. In fact, the SDP traitors were all invited back with open arms by Tony Blair.
“This is a dreadful time to be a sane and moderate Labour MP – and it can only get worse”, states the editorial in the Evening Standard. For them, “sane” and “moderate” means pro-big business.
But the Labour Party was created to represent working people, not big business and certainly not to provide cushy parliamentary careers for place-seekers. These right wingers must be immediately called to order! They must stop their sabotage or face a reselection contest where the rank and file will decide democratically who should represent them.
Defend Corbyn! Fight for Socialism!
Of course, the Tories are delighted by the attacks on Corbyn from within the Party and try to foster these divisions. Osborne even tried to claim that the Conservatives were now the true workers’ party! In reality, the Tories represent big business and operate in the interests of Rent, Interest and Profit.
Under orders from big business, the Tories are preparing a catastrophe for the working class. They are attempting to make workers pay for the crisis by cutting public spending by up to 40% in this parliament. They want to return to spending levels of 1938!
This means all-out war on working people, and the most vulnerable in society. This is the result of the crisis of capitalism, which can no longer afford the reforms of the past. Capitalist austerity is on the order of the day.
There was never a more important time to fight for bold socialist policies to answer the capitalist crisis. Labour needs to fight for a living wage for all workers, a 30-hour working week, a guaranteed job for all, retirement at 55, the building of a million houses a year, abolition of tuition fees, free public transport, first-class hospitals and schools, and an end to the misery under rat-infested Tory Britain.
However, this can only be achieved by taking over the commanding heights of the economy, the big monopolies, banks and insurance companies and the organisation of a socialist plan of production. All industries should be run democratically under workers’ control and management.
Only in this way can we use the resources of society to produce the wealth need to transform the lives of ordinary people. Socialist planning of the economy is the only alternative to capitalist crisis.
A socialist Britain would be a beacon for the rest of crisis-torn Europe and the world. It would lay the basis for an international transformation of society that would put an end once and for all to the misery of war, overty and hunger.
In the meantime, we must defend Corbyn. We must continue the struggle to cleanse the Labour and trade union movement of Tory infiltrators and turn these organisations, armed with a fighting socialist programme, into real instruments for changing society.